CEO Roland Smith will retire and Troy Rice will oversee e-commerce as Office Depot’s new chief operating officer.
The owner of QVC and IAC/InterActiveCorp moves deeper into e-commerce with the acquisition of online retailer Provide Commerce. The operator of web sites ProFlowers, Cherry Moon Farms and Uptown Prime will remain a subsidiary within Liberty.
Liberty Media Corp., the owner of television and online marketplace QVC, No. 15 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, is moving deeper into e-commerce with its announced acquisition of Provide Commerce Inc. Pending regulatory approval of the acquisition, Liberty will pay $477 million in cash in a deal that is expected to close in the second quarter of 2006. Provide Commerce, No. 59 in the Internet Retailer Top 400 Guide to Retail Web Sites, specializes in the online sale of perishable goods and operates web sites under the brands Proflowers.com, CherryMoonFarms.com, UptownPrime.com and SecretSpoon.com.
“Provide Commerce is a market leader in online perishable goods and through its advanced supply chain and superior execution, has built scale and a strong competitive position,” says John C. Malone, Liberty’s CEO. “We believe in the power of video to drive television and web-based retailing businesses and Provide is a compelling addition to our strategy.”
Following the acquisition, Provide Commerce will remain a separate subsidiary within Liberty. As of Sept. 30 of this year, Provide Commerce had a cash balance of $60 million.
“The philosophy of Liberty and its affiliates is consistent with Provide’s culture and our unrelenting focus on our customers,” says Provide Commerce CEO Bill Strauss. “We look forward to working with the other Liberty Internet and video companies to accelerate profitable growth.”
In addition to QVC, Liberty Media Corp owns electronic retailing, media, and entertainment businesses including Encore, Starz, IAC/Interactive Corp., Expedia and News Corporation.